I hope everyone had a joyous Christmas.  I spent Christmas day at my cousins with her son, two friends from Mexico, and of course my cousins growing family of now seven cats.  I also spent time with each of my five nieces, and their combined 14 children.  I had a great time everywhere but was also happy to get back childless, cat-less, condo.  🙂

How did your Christmas go?

I think during the Christmas season people do make an extra effort to spread good cheer, except perhaps at the shopping malls. 🙂

An article in the Christian Science Monitor, by Mark Trumbull,  tells the story of the extra lengths some people went to this Christmas season to help those in need.

From the article:

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2009/1224/Tis-the-season-for-grace-and-charity-even-in-a-Grinch-economy

1) Five moms near Palm Desert, Calif, decided to take action when they read a newspaper story about how many students at one nearby elementary school were poor and lacked good shoes. They created a group called Hearts 4 Soles and provided new shoes and socks for all 94 kindergartners at the school, the Desert Sun paper reports.  http://www.mydesert.com/article/20091219/NEWS04/912190309

2)  Teens at Archbishop McCarthy High School in Florida’s Broward County organized 36 holiday boxes of goods to send to graduates of their school now serving the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Miami Herald reported. The recipients can share the food, books, music discs, and other items with fellow service members. http://www.miamiherald.com/cooper-city/story/1388265.html

3)  Workers at a Boise, Idaho, insurance company also reached out to help low-income school children this year just like the California moms did. The insurance team decided to cancel its office party and put the money toward buying books and other items for the kids, according to the Idaho Statesman. To broaden the effort, they parked a truck outside a Kmart and enlisted shoppers to donate new items such as clothing and toothpaste to the cause.  http://www.idahostatesman.com/localnews/story/1016532.html

4)  In Sussex, Wis., community members donated nearly $3,000 to help provide Christmas meals for individuals in need. It’s symbolic of actions occurring across the nation as food pantries see rising demand.

“It seems like the harder things get, people are more generous,” said John Haunfelder, a Sussex Lions Club member who helped raise the money on a recent Saturday. “It really brought on a warm feeling,” he told the Sussex Sun. http://www.livinglakecountry.com/sussexsun/news/79329397.html

Unfortunately far too many Americans remain in need of assistance:

“A recent Agriculture Department report estimated that 17 million households, or 1 in every 7, were “food insecure” in 2008, meaning they lacked resources for adequate food for at least part of the year. Feeding America, a nationwide network of food banks, says the problem has grown significantly this year, since that survey was done.”

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